Impact monitoring and evaluation
The Volkswagen Foundation sees itself as a learning organization. This applies in particular to the Foundation's core business: science funding. Quality assurance procedures are established at all stages of the funding process - from the development of new funding opportunities, through the application and review processes, the accompanying monitoring of ongoing funding projects, to the conclusion of individual funding projects or entire funding programs.
Since 2005, the foundation has conducted external evaluations of its funding programs and areas. Independent experts scrutinize the foundation's ideas, concepts, instruments and procedures. In addition, the foundation uses external expertise for studies and accompanying research and conducts its own statistical evaluations, surveys and analyses in order to examine the effectiveness of its funding instruments on an ad hoc and needs-oriented basis and to improve them accordingly. In 2020, the external expert panel of the overall evaluation of the Volkswagen Foundation recommended further development in the direction of a systematic impact orientation of its funding activities.
Goals of the foundation's systematic impact orientation:
- The foundation learns whether and how the chosen funding instruments are working and how the funding offer can be improved.
- Systematic data use provides it with an evidence-based foundation for strategic decision-making.
- The transparent handling of the results of impact tracking legitimizes the foundation's funding activities and their orientation toward the common good.